Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



JOURNAL OF PLANT NUTRITION, 21(2), 297-305 (1998)


U.S. Government Work


Aluminum (Al) has many detrimental effects on plant growth, and shoots and roots are normally affected differently. A study was conducted to determine differences among sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] genotypes with broad genetic backgrounds for growth traits of plants grown at 0,200,400,600, and 800 uM Al in nutrient solutions (pH 4.0). Genotypes were categorized into "Al-sensitive", "intermediate Al-tolerant", "Al-tolerant", and SC 283 (an Al-tolerant standard). As Al increased, shoot and root dry matter (DM), net main axis root length (NMARL), and total root length (TRL) became lower than controls (0 Al). Aluminum toxicity and/or nutrient deficiency symptoms become more severe, and shoot to root DM ratios and specific RL (TRL/root DM) values also changed as Al in solution increased. Root DM had greater changes among genotypes than shoot DM, and NMARL at 400 μM Al, and TRL at 200 μM Al had greater differences among genotypes than root DM, ratings for toxicity and/or deficiency symptoms, and other DM and RL traits. The wide differences among genotypes for NMARL and TRL could be used more effectively to evaluate sorghum genotypes for tolerance to Al toxicity than the other growth traits.